Harold Lindsay Arnett was born on June 5, 1953 in Chicago, Illinois. He was the third child to his father Gordon James Arnett and the first child to his mother Miriam Jean Arnett. Arnett made his transition on November 2, 2017 at the age of 64.
Arnett was a beloved, life-long resident of Hyde Park and part of the backbone of the Arnett family. He spent most of his life living on the 5700 block of Harper Avenue, where he grew up with his parents and siblings and later lived as an adult with his mother, younger brother, nephews, and niece. Arnett graduated from Kenwood Academy High School in 1971. In his youth and young adult years, Arnett was a proud player of the French Horn for the University of Chicago and the Northshore Concert Band. He was known for his work as a draftsman and his ability to create customized refinished furniture, as he worked for many years at Sargent & Lundy as well as Goodman, Homan, & Grant. To this day, his work and furniture adorn many homes around the Hyde Park community.
Through his previous marriage to Mary Bailey, Arnett became the stepfather to Chauncey, Tasha, and Narcell Bailey. Arnett played an instrumental role in raising Tasha. Over the years, Arnett took great pride in raising her and her children, all of whom he adored. There was nothing he would not do for them and he always went out of his way to provide for them in any way that he could.
Arnett was a fixture in Hyde Park. He could often be seen at Harper Foods, Salonica, the Medici, Valois, the Subway on 57th Street, or the 57th Street Art Fair. He loved and took great pride in his community.
Arnett is perhaps best known for two qualities: his love for knowledge and storytelling and his selfless care for others. He was an ardent collector of newspapers and could often be heard recounting the news of the day or of twenty years ago with equal vigor, detail, and enthusiasm. His legendary ways of sharing news, facts, and stories – particularly relating to the Hyde Park community – made him as much of a Hyde Park “Herald” as the local newspaper. Arnett had an equally strong passion for discussing his community, friends and loved ones. He prided himself on watching out for his neighbors and providing help without being asked. If you needed something, Arnett would do whatever he could to provide it – and was frequently spoken of as a man with a heart of gold by his neighborhood family. It is this latter quality that was most cherished by his family and friends, and that will be greatly missed.
Arnett is survived by his siblings, Lawrence (Carolyn) Arnett, Virginia Arnett, Thomas Arnett, and Alice (David) Urban; stepchildren, Chauncey Bailey, Tasha Bailey, and Narcell Bailey; step-grandchildren, Kamyl Bailey, Kashod Bailey, Khalee Bailey, Kamya Bailey, and Kamyra Bailey; nephews and nieces, Kasabez (Nezeziyah) Maakmaah, Rachel Arnett (Alberto Ramirez), William Arnett, John Urban (Chen Si), Corinne Urban, and Tristan Arnett; as well as many cousins, grandnephews, and grandnieces.
Services for Arnett will be held on Friday, November 24th. Visitation will be held at 9 a.m. at the Wolniak Funeral Home (5700 S. Pulaski Ave, Chicago, IL), followed by a funeral at 10 a.m. at the same location. The burial will take place at noon at Mt. Hope Cemetery (11500 S. Fairfield Ave, Chicago, IL 60655). A repast will be held in the downstairs community room at Treasure Island (formerly the Co-Op, 1526 E 55th St., Chicago, IL) starting at 2 p.m. For more information, as well as pictures of Arnett, feel free to visit HaroldArnett.com.